World Bank Sees Bulgarian Economy Expanding by 0.6% in 2012, Projects 2.5% Growth for 2013

World Bank Sees Bulgarian Economy Expanding by 0.6% in 2012, Projects 2.5% Growth for 2013

The World Bank said it expects Bulgaria's economy to expand at a slower pace - of 0.6% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) this year, but to speed up to 2.5% growth in 2013.

Last year, Bulgarian economic growth was mainly driven by net exports, the World Bank said in its latest EU11 Regular Economic Report.

The EU11 countries include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Having made significant adjustments to external current account balances and better growth performance, Bulgaria reduced its external debt-to-GDP ratios by more than 10 percentage points as bank deleveraging continued.

Bulgaria is on track to fully comply with the Stability and Growth Pact, as the EU's Economic and Financial Affairs Council decided to close an excessive deficit procedure against the country in June.

Bulgaria along Slovenia were the only EU11 countries where employment growth remained negative in 2011, as jobless rate in Bulgaria is currently higher than in the crisis peak.

Overall, private sector credit remained flat as positive spur in corporate loans offset the negative growth of credit to households.

All EU11 countries are projected to grow at a slower pace in 2012 compared to 2011 with their economies rebounding only in 2013, provided the economic problems in the Euro area do not worsen.

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